Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Capturing "Our" Blue Heron

This huge bird has been hanging out in our north field for months now, and for months I have been trying to get an in-focus photograph of it. I saw him out there as I drove in from work this afternoon, so I raced into the house to grab my camera. I carefully checked *all 3* of my settings, hooked up the gorillapod and used it to attach the camera with zoom lens to a fencepost to stabilize it and started shooting. Woo hoo! Success!

I got a couple shots of him posing for me and then he started stalking. Have you ever seen a heron hunt? It is a wonderful study in patience and guile. There he goes...

He pounces! Unfortunately for him, he comes up empty.

Almost right away he began stalking again, so I hung around.

He pounced again. Honestly, they move almost too quickly to watch.

This time he came up with something. Yesterday I watched him catch a rat, but today's catch wasn't quite so dramatic. Probably a shrew or a mouse, judging by the size of it.

He worked it for a few seconds,

... and then it was gone.

It was all over so quickly! This whole episode took about 1 minute.


Linda Fleming said...

Wow! Great photos, Judi!How kewl to catch him stalking and then catching the prize. I had no idea herons were good ratters-LOL!

Serena said...

WOW....what great shots, Judi! I had no idea that herons caught rats and mice.

HElen said...

Those are pretty nice photos, second one is funny, when you can see only a half of the bird :)
but it is great to catch a whole story!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Thanks for your kind words in my blog Judy. I have been enjoying your photography which you are so good at.
I had no idea herons hunted things from the field too.

BumbleVee said...

whoa! for such a gangly bird... they are fast. And who knew they ate land animals...not me for sure!

MaryO said...

What a lucky photo-up! Good work, Judi, these are great.

Anonymous said...

Glad you got the shots you wanted!! It was a treat to watch him hunt.

Jennifer Rose said...

great photos of the Heron hunting :D